Discovering the Heart of My Nudist Desires

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In the first installment of this series, I described the beginnings of my long and complicated relationship with nudity. Entering high school, my love/hate relationship with nudity became more complicated . . .

I grew fascinated by the thought of naked men and being naked with them but also terrified at the same time.

My parents actually encouraged me not to fear nakedness in the locker room. They half-jokingly told me how they’d had to shower in high school after gym class, and that while embarrassing at first, you get used to it.This didn’t calm my nerves, though: being naked in front of my classmates.

This didn’t calm my nerves, though: being naked in front of my classmates.

My worries were ultimately for naught, as I’d find out we were never made to shower at my middle and high school. School showering had basically gone extinct.

Around the age of thirteen, my parents got the family fast internet. One can assume how this would end for a budding thirteen-year-old, getting fast internet for the first time.

One day out of curiosity, I googled the phrase “naked men,” and I got more than I bargained for. I came across some of the most rancid gay porn, mostly oral sex. I never knew oral sex was even a thing; horrified by what I saw, I nearly puked.

I learned to navigate my way around the porn for more simple images of naked men. Unfortunately, my parents noticed my Google search history, and I got in trouble.

I managed to lie my way out of the situation, saying I was simply curious what the male body looks like after puberty. My parents bought it, but their firm warning never to do it again didn’t ground me any less.

I did it again. And again. And again.

When I saw these men, many abstract thoughts and feelings ran through my head. Thoughts like:

Wow, he’s letting the whole world see him!

Wow, he also has a penis and it looks kind of like mine!

Wow, he’s being totally vulnerable; I want to be like that or be vulnerable with him!

Ultimately, these feelings led to arousal and eventually masturbation.

I’d find another way to get my jollies and entertain my fascination with nudity while avoiding porn: nudist sites.

I found thousands of videos and pictures of naked men with no erotic or pornographic subtext, all doing activities “normal” clothed people would do: playing tennis, swimming, running triathlons, partying, watching movies, etc. Just about anything clothed people would do but with considerably more bouncing and jiggling! There were even news-type shows where naked interviewers interviewed other nudists about how much freedom they’d found in the lifestyle.

I even found Christian nudists talking about how non-sexual nudity was like going back to the Garden of Eden, celebrating God’s design of our bodies. I was hooked, and I wanted to be like that.

I wanted guys I could interact naked with, minus any erotic subtext or activities … while still getting my jollies on the side.

But what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them, right?

I didn’t have any close friends, but I wanted a taste of this vulnerability. Even if it was on my own.

What better place to try out nudism than at the local park? A densely forested park with dirt trails looked perfect. When I arrived, I checked the parking lots to make sure I was clear. Then I entered the park, stripped down, and walked long stretches of the trails in nothing but my tennis shoes.

It was quite an adrenaline rush. Being naked outdoors is quite different than being naked in your own bathroom.

I wish I could say I only got naked to feel total freedom — and while that was partly the case, I still got a strong sexual thrill out of it. One could say I was an exhibitionist, but I wanted to do this privately without any hikers seeing me.

Needless to say, getting naked outdoors was very risky; thankfully, I was never caught. I was addicted, though, and I couldn’t stop myself from going back to that park time and again.

Why was I doing this? I was in high school and had no friends, never any close friends growing up. This bizarre calling often feels birthed from a deep need.

I wanted other men to see me and know every part of me. To see that I have a penis which shows that I’m a man. To see every part and imperfection and not be judged and still be loved.

I want God to see every part of me and love me, too.

I’d always enjoyed those old-fashioned images of boy friendships: skinny dipping at the old swimmin’ hole, goofing off in the showers after gym class, or maybe even going streaking on a dare. I’d longed for friends and brothers to join on such activities, but I’d never had it.

My nudist desires have never been entirely sexual. I’ve long known that it comes from a deep desire for intimacy. To be known fully as a man by other men.

Despite my butt-naked exploits on the trail, I was not done with the nudist world.

And it was not done with me.

To be continued . . .

Have you ever felt fixated or addicted by nudity or nudist culture? Or does nudity among other men not appeal to you?

* Photo courtesy tir_na_nog, Creative Commons.

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  • My nudist phase began when I was about eleven. It was in the shower at summer camp. It was here that I got my first erection (that I remember). I got out as quickly as I could, with soap in my hair. Few people saw, but I was still labeled a faggot. I didn’t even know what that meant.
    I was still enamored with the thought of nudity, being seen and seeing others. No one heard of the internet yet, so had to rely on seeing others nude by spending the night. I wanted to see my best friend naked, but it never happened.
    The first time I daw one was about the time I was getting pubic hair. I told my younger cousin who was curious and wanted to see. So I let him. He was impressed and undressed for me. We always undressed for each other after that which unfortunately lead to our experiments with gay sex.

  • mike

    I think it’s common to look for causation for our compulsions or addictions. Yet, it often doesn’t solve the problem. Sure, underlying traumas or deficits from childhood exacerbate those neurotic tendencies and it is good to examine and try to heal.
    I blamed my drug addiction on my repressed SSAs and felt the latter were due to a desert childhood. But neither was the case. All are separate issues. I now believe these were innate. Both drug addiction and SSAs are brain disorders genetic in origin — the flesh as the Bible calls it!
    I’m thinking Eugene you’ve found peace with your nudity addiction because as you say “I’ve long known that it comes from a deep desire for intimacy.” and recent friendships have filled that deficit. I’m glad for you. I guess I’ll have to wait as your story unfolds to learn where nudity exists presently.
    Nudity is a non-issue for me, but I have my own issues. While drug addiction is history, other addictions (food, exercise, internet, etc.) prevail and are a struggle. And SSA continues despite having filled all

    • Jim

      Hi, Mike. I suspect genetics in my own SSA, as well. How do you relate to being “born that way” and a follower of Christ? For me, assuming it is genetic, I see it as being like the man in John 9 who was born broken so that the glory of God could be revealed. It isn’t something that I mourn, but I am learning to look for how to relate to it in a godly way (or resolve it away, if God would permit).

      • mike

        Hello Jim. YES, in John 9 Jesus reveals that purpose trumps causation. The disciples ask for the cause of the blindness, but Jesus doesn’t go there. Instead as you do Jesus speaks of great purpose in the disability. There is purpose and glory in suffering. When we suffer when it’s not our fault (like SSA) then great glory awaits us not only in Heaven but here as Jesus visits us in our suffering and becomes the God of all Comfort of 2 Corinth. 1:3.
        When I speak genetics I mean original sin of Genesis which corrupted our DNA like a virus and led to physical death as well as a multitude of physical and mental conditions that get passed down the line.

        • Jim

          Amen! Praise God for being the God of all comfort.

          I can say it no better than the Paul “….there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
          For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
          And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
          Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
          I want to be strong. SSA, under God’s control, is my, indeed, our, path to His perfect strength.

      • george

        Jim. Of course people are born that way. Why to deny it! I am close to 40/and I have been SSA whole my life..I remember that since 3 or 4. I mean this was attraction to same sex . not necessary sexual, but it was attraction. It did not change, it got stronger. And most of the SSA people say the same, my friends from real life and on line.
        I always wonder why some SSA people help those ‘hate the sin love the sinner’ ideologist preachers?
        Because when SSA people say they have chosen it, this is what those hatemongers want to hear.
        May be they have chosen, bur there are plantybof us, SSA men and women who think it is genetic.


        • Eddie

          Hello George. I’m in my 40s and I can remember when I came to realize my first SSA inclinations at 4-5 years old. Like you I wasn’t *sexually* attracted to certain males, but was attracted nonetheless. I’m willing to entertain a genetic component involved with SSA, but the nuture argument does offer (IMHO) some credence. For starters, like you I don’t buy the argument that sexuality is a choice. Ok? However, I think the nuture argument has credibility with me because based on environmental factors or the lack there of certain factors. In my case, I think my SSA was exacerbated by my emotionally neglectful father. Based on this I sought out big brother and other surrogate father figures with other men. Sadly none of these endeavors ever took root into a real friendship. My 2 cents.

          • george

            Come on Eddy, there are many boys who have never had fathers, (my relatives, friends, neighbors) and they are straight. There were boys with only mother and 4 sisters and are straight. There are boys who have a great father, uncles, brothers, men around, hunting, fishing, doing men stuff..but, they are gays. So I don’t agree with these father /male figure theory of course.
            Thanks for your insight though.

          • Eugene Heffron

            Well the nature vs nurture argument is another blog for another time (not written by me though, that’d be too tough). I’m certainly not saying my lack of non sexual nudity made me SSA. I’ll definitely say it influenced how my sexuality works, even if I were truly born SSA, my nudity obsession would probably still be nurture defined. Similar to how you might have straight people who suffered physical abuse in the past and become obsessed with S&M type of stuff later on. I have noticed its very common amongst SSA men both side A and B to have a thing for nudity and its common to see them experiment with nudism. Perhaps talking about it we can find a commonality in our experiences that relates to feeling whole.

          • george

            Even though I consider my self SSA person (b side? ) I don’t remember exactly which is which..I don’t have desire for male sex. It is more emotional , body attraction…or as you have said- male nudity attracts …
            What I believe is that sexual orientation is in born, both, osa or ssa. But when abused, a person straight or SSA, will have some sexual issues complicated….
            I hardly believe it is nature not narture.

        • I certainly wouldn’t have chosen this hell either. I think the worst this for me is the culture telling me I have to live this way because I was born this way. Some say I need psychiatric help. Are there rules and who made them? Rules are meant for breaking, and there is no fate, but what we make.

        • Fred

          Because you have complete control over your actions. You don’t choose temptation or attraction, but lust and beyond is a choice. It’s not that you chose to struggle with homosexuality, but if you are gay, you chose that life. That is why a majority of people on this site choose to not identify as gay, just as “struggling”. Hope this maybe cleared it up. The sin of homosexuality is completely a choice, but the temptation to do so is not.

          • george

            So Paul says in Corinthians, if a man is burning and can’t control sexual urges he must get married. So what a gay/SSA person must to do if he can not Handel the sexual urges? If he is burning?

        • ‘Born this way’ means that one can’t change their ways. I view this as fatalistic. We are free to be whoever we want to be. ‘Born this way’ is more propaganda from the LGBT community.

          • george

            No you can’t change your attractions. You can resist/oppose them. I am not a lgbt propagandist. I am a man who is SSA , who only have had relationtips with women, but it can’t help to change my attractions to my gender. I am still SSA, no matter how I prayed and fasted and later how many times I had sex with women. Yes people are born this way.

          • I am not advocating that we can change our attractions. We can’t; but we can change our behaviors.

          • george

            Yes changing behaviour is possible, but especially for young SSA people it is not easy.
            And changing behavior does not change orientation/attraction.

    • Eugene Heffron

      Well when I look at my past a lot makes sense when I sort of see my thoughts lead me to become obsessed with nudity in the midst of SSA. As for genetics, I feel like I’m more on the nurture side of things but that’s just my opinion. I can’t say I know for sure though.

      • mike

        There are those who advocate more nudity!
        If the obsession with nudity is due to lack of nurture than ‘redeeming’ nudity would make sense. This, some say, would even reduce the negative erotic side of SSA if that too is nurture related.
        But, when one looks into the Bible there is nothing there that tells us that one’s temptations can be reduced by finding the nurture cause of them. The Bible spends no time explaining what causes individual temptations except to tell us that they come from the flesh which is beyond repair or cure.

  • Kevin Frye

    Pictures or it didn’t happen.

    • Eugene Heffron

      Oh Kevin…. then again, my butt would look great plastered all over YOB!

      • Eddie

        “Then I entered the park, stripped down, and walked long stretches of the trails in nothing but my tennis shoes.”

        I must say you were certainly brazen. No judgment brother. Only time I was ever so brave was my skinny dipping beach retreat at nighttime, of course. Felt a little like an exibitionist myself.

  • Eddie

    There were moments in my life I did get fixated by nudity not so much nudist culture. When I was younger I came across a Tarzan film that sent my impressionable self rather over the edge. I saw this masculine he-man character wearing little more than a loincloth fighting his enemies and protecting the innocent. Much like a primitive superhero that I wanted to emulate. The male envy kicked in and I began wearing nothing, but shorts around the house for a short period. At the time my body was undergoing puberty and I started sleeping in the nude for a brief spell. That was until I discovered masturbation as an insomnia remedy. Nudist culture interest didn’t start much later like 10 years ago as I came across an article talking about a nudist club locally operating. I did reach out to their representative, but got cold feet in the end. Male nudity is very conditional with me. I do find it appealing perhaps envious to see well fit male bodies naked and vulnerable, yet I am drawn to go deeper to find out what type of man they are as to their personality and character. To delve into whether they have inner beauty. I’ve gotten naked with guys on more than one occasion and I have to say getting to know them internally mitigates any sexual or carnal appetites I have towards them. I tend to get drawn to guys who may not be super attractive externally by the world’s superficial standards. However, they possess other intrinsic qualities that appeal to me and I want me to be their friend, not their lover.

  • george

    Most of the SSA people have these desires because their sexual desires are not met. Straight people who have regular sex with wives or partners, they satesfy these desires during their sexual intercourse. If they (osa) didnot have their urges satisfied, they would have the same nudist desires as SSA people have.
    So the problem is unmet / unsatisfied desires. When a person gets naked at least twice in a week with another person who touches him and has sex with, will have not this endless nudist desires as we, SSA people have. It is as simple as 2+2=4. It does not need profound philosophical digging.

    • George, you’ve commented quite a bit about the causation of SSA. It’s a losing conversation, as we all have our theories. Let’s focus instead on the content matter and storytelling rather than endless debating. Our community works better with stories.

      • george

        Well, am I only one who may mention any issue twice? And the story was about nudity wasn’t it? So I wrote what I think- causations of nudist desires.!that’s it. Tell me openly if you don’t want me to post different views from yours and I won’t.

      • mike

        Yes, story is important and powerful. But it’s the interpretation of one’s story that is critical I think. Because the stories we listen to are powerful in that they have the power to both define –and distort–life! So, we need to be careful what stories we listen to.
        The story of the blind man in John 9 is a case in point. The man likely thought he was born blind because of sin: his or his parents. But that’s not what’s important. Purpose is. And when story finds purpose it becomes testimony as yours is Tom as you are a gift to the Church both by this blog and your ability for empathy enriches others.
        For years my story got distorted as I chased the rabbit holes of reparative therapy for my SSA. That story really distorted things and wasted a lot of time, money, and frustration.
        Yes, the field of trauma informed addiction therapy is correct in that past traumas/deficits exacerbate the problem but dealing with those doesn’t cure the addiction nor the SSA and cure isn’t the be end all!
        I agree. Debating/arguing regarding nature/nurture is useless. More important is story context. Learning to place our own story into God’s story of redemption gives purpose and makes it powerful testimony which blesses all of us. So glad for you and this blog . Keep up the good work :).